Physical Education and Sport at School in Europe

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Eurydice Report

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Agencja Wykonawcza ds. Edukacji, Kultury i Sektora Audiowizualnego





During childhood and youth, physical education at school provides an excellent opportunity to learn and practise skills likely to enhance lifelong fitness and good health. These activities may include daily running, swimming, cycling and climbing, as well as more structured games and sports. Early mastery of the basic skills crucially helps young people to perform and understand the value of these activities better in their later education, or as adults at work or during leisure time. However physical education is not limited to training in physical skills, and has more than just a recreational dimension. With involvement in many physical activities come knowledge and insight centred on principles and concepts such as ‘rules of the game’, fair play and respect, tactical and bodily awareness, and the social awareness linked to personal interaction and team effort in many sports. Goals that extend beyond physical education and sport – such as good health, sound personal development, and social inclusion – give further weight to the importance of including this subject in the school curriculum. The present Eurydice report may thus be fairly regarded as the first attempt by the Commission to identify concerns related to physical activity in greater detail and map out the state of play in physical education and sports activities at school in Europe. Its findings may well lead to the inclusion of more concrete action and measures in this field under the future EU Work Plan for Sport and the Erasmus for All programme.

Citation: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2013). Physical Education and Sport at School in Europe Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

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